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100 Years of Magazine Covers [Hardcover]

Steve Taylor & Neville Brody
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 Oct 2006
If you pick up a copy of this week's "Heat" magazine in 30 years time, think how funny it will seem. Our obsession with B list celebrities' private lives, weight loss and reality TV shows, will become ridiculous in the light of tomorrow's trends. Magazines, as ephemeral snapshots of a moment in history, can tell us much about the way society and culture work. This collection of magazine covers draws upon archival material from the late nineteenth century to the present day, and from a broad international spectrum of publications. An emphasis on post war culture is supplemented by a fascinating record of earlier publications, providing an insight into the popular literature and culture of the last 100 years. Divided into themed chapters, the book will present fashion and women's magazines, such as "Vogue", "Cosmopolitan", and "Harper's Bazaar"; news publications - from the era-defining photo-journalism of "Life" and "Time", through "The Economist", to more contentious titles, such as "Paris Match"; and from music magazines from the mainstream - "Rolling Stone", the "NME" - to the underground punk publications of the 1970s, such as "Sniffing Glue" and "Oz". Each chapter will be accompanied by an introductory text covering the history and context of each magazine type, with extended captions throughout. Individual covers are presented in terms of their importance to their historical and visual context; in addition, the book will explore the importance of titles and publishing houses, such as Conde Nast, as a whole, and their influence on culture.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog Publishing (27 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904772420
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904772422
  • Product Dimensions: 28.6 x 23.3 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 544,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Attractively presented, intelligently argued."

About the Author

Neville Brody was creative director of The Face and, since the 1970s, has been a major influence on graphic design. He has been celebrated by the DAAD amongst other major international design organisations, and has written a number of books on his own work. His long-established involvement with magazine design makes him perfectly placed to present this extraordinary archive of material in an engaging, accessible way.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cover up 28 Sep 2007
By Robin Benson TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's nice to see that magazine covers are getting the same book treatment that LP covers have been getting over the last few years. There is clearly a growing market of designers and others interested in seeing what these print 'shop windows' have looked like in the past. The covers of the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Vogue, Saturday Evening Post, Mad, Fortune and Life are all available in book form.

The other cover book format looks at the market in general and `100 years of magazine covers' falls into this category. The five chapters basically look at celebrity, politics and current affairs, fashion, lifestyle and counter culture and finally (the chapter I found most interesting) the rise of the magazine art editor and the designed cover. Nearly all the 350 covers in the book are consumer titles, trade and professional magazines don't need to compete on the newsstand.

Steve Taylor writes in a general way about the various changes to cover design over the years though it's fair to say that there are plenty of covers included that look like they had minimal design input but were probably including because of their influence or reflect a past time in society. As well as the main text there are frequent sidebars about particular cover styles, designers or individual magazines like Colors, Stern, Fast Company or Esquire. I was surprised that the captions didn't include credits for the various designers, all you get are the title, date, volume and number. There is no index either.

Interesting though all the covers are the problem with the book is that it is hopelessly over designed. For example:
* A simple thing like page numbers are used as a design element, they are mostly 1.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Celebration of good design marred by bad design 17 Aug 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's a pity that a book celebrating excellence in graphic design is itself something of a `design victim', especially as it was laid out by the esteemed Neville Brody. Out of its 256-odd pages, at least 36 are wasted on design conceits that add no value to its proposition - whole pages given over to oversized page numbers or heading text, or impactful example magazine covers reproduced in small scale surrounded by loads of blank page that serves no purpose. And the spiky typeface used for the body text renders it almost unreadable. If I'd have paid the full RRP of 29.95 I would've felt ripped. I second most of the critical captions from Robin Benson, who provided the customer images you can view here, as well as the preceding review.
That aside, `100 Years of Magazine Covers' is a well-informed survey of an under-celebrated graphic design discipline that must meet several aesthetic and psychological objectives in one glance in order to succeed in making you take that issue from the shelf and buy into it. My preference, however, is David Crowley's `Magazine Covers', first published by Mitchell Beazley in 2003.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great buy 26 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great price and it is a very useful book. I am using it for referencing my design work at university. Very useful indeed.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brody still rocks 19 Dec 2006
Format:Hardcover
Remarkable book written by Steve Taylor - editor of some of the titles that are featured (Face and Arena) and the designer of some of the most iconic magazine covers of all time Neville Brody (Face, Arena, City Limits) . The layout for the book is prime Brody, who clearly hasn't lost any of the originality that put him at the forefront of his generation of designers more than two decades ago. This is an abosultely fascinating look at a subject that is the soul and shop window of any magazine. Buy it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cover up 5 July 2007
By Robin Benson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
It's nice to see that magazine covers are getting the same book treatment that LP covers have been getting over the last few years. There is clearly a growing market of designers and others interested in seeing what these print 'shop windows' have looked like in the past. The covers of the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Vogue, Saturday Evening Post, Mad, Fortune and Life are all available in book form.

The other cover book format looks at the market in general and `100 years of magazine covers' falls into this category. The five chapters basically look at celebrity, politics and current affairs, fashion, lifestyle and counter culture and finally (the chapter I found most interesting) the rise of the magazine art editor and the designed cover. Nearly all the 350 covers in the book are consumer titles, trade and professional magazines don't need to compete on the newsstand.

Steve Taylor writes in a general way about the various changes to cover design over the years though it's fair to say that there are plenty of covers included that look like they had minimal design input but were probably including because of their influence or reflect a past time in society. As well as the main text there are frequent sidebars about particular cover styles, designers or individual magazines like Colors, Stern, Fast Company or Esquire. I was surprised that the captions didn't include credits for the various designers, all you get are the title, date, volume and number. There is no index either.

Interesting though all the covers are the problem with the book is that it is hopelessly over designed. For example:
* A simple thing like page numbers are used as a design element, they are mostly 1.25 inches high (sometimes bigger) and are in a different position on each spread and annoyingly don't even appear on every page.
* Each of the five chapters begins on a spread with just the words Chapter 01, 02, 03 etc with the numerals almost a page deep. The next spread has the chapter title in type that fades to nothing across the spread from the left.
* At the end of each chapter there is a spread devoted to footnotes. The text is minimal so it is really a waste of two pages especially as all of the notes would easily fit at the bottom of the page with the relevant text.
* There are frequent pull-quotes, set in display type with underscores that appear on the same page as the text the quote is taken from. Who wants to read the same thing twice?
* The design elements just waste too many pages. The five chapters each have two pages for the chapter number, two pages for the chapter title and two pages for the footnotes. Thirty pages with no covers at all in a 256 page book.
* Perhaps the most serious fault is that so many of the covers are too small yet there is frequently plenty of empty page space and I mean lots of it.
All of the above are just designer whimsy and it's a shame that the visual clutter on most pages totally spoil the interesting cover content for the reader.

I think there are much better titles covering a hundred years of cover design. Have a look at Magazine Covers and Front Page: Covers of the Twentieth-Century. Both have plenty of covers presented in a straightforward intelligent design format that are a pleasure to look at.

***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
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